Celebrating 125 Years of Fire and Life Safety
BY JIM PAULEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NFPA
NFPA is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. It’s a momentous milestone; one that gives me pause as I think about the journey we’ve taken since our founding in 1896. During the past few months, I have been reflecting on how the Association has remained steadfast in its mission to reduce the burden of fire, electrical, life, and related hazards. Just about everywhere people go in their daily lives, from their home and community to the places they work and visit, NFPA, working with all of you, has had a major impact on their safety. We know from statistics there has been a decline in the number of home and non-residential fires over the past few decades and we can all be proud of the strides we have collectively made in reducing the fire problem.
But it is also what this progress represents that I really want to celebrate:
- The thousands of lives saved and properties protected because of the more than 300 codes and standards developed by more than 250 technical committees and their 9,000 volunteers from 42 countries;
- The efforts of those in countless disciplines who enforce the codes and standards;
- The tireless work, support, and dedication of our 300+ NFPA staff and more than 40,000 members, all working together to fulfill the Association’s mission;
- The commitment to the very best educational programs and campaigns that help inform, inspire, and encourage the public to take action to reduce their risk;
- The changes to the course of destruction by our advocacy efforts;
- The continual exploration and body of research that creates the knowledge base to guide all of our fire and life safety efforts;
- The creation of cutting-edge safety technology and solutions such as NFPA LiNK™ and online learning opportunities that inform industry professionals and help them to perform their jobs more effectively, efficiently, and safely.
This is the true legacy we commemorate this year. And so we are pleased to be paying homage to NFPA’s long history of dedication and collaboration through a series of events and initiatives that recognize our storied past and as well as present forward-thinking information and knowledge about important issues facing us today that will catapult us into the next level of safety. Key among them is the launch of a virtual 125th Anniversary Conference Series that will replace NFPA’s 2021 Conference & Expo. The series runs from May 2021 through March 2022 and will be archived so that people can have access throughout the year.
The series features a collection of 10 one-day programs for building, electrical, and life safety professionals and practitioners. There is something for everyone in these programs due to the more than 100 informative education sessions, engaging content, industry roundtable discussions, networking opportunities, live chat sessions, and exhibitor demonstrations. Each will dive into subjects that range from the impact of new technology on codes and standards to community risk reduction and public education strategies designed to protect people and property. All sessions are aimed at helping workers adjust to changing industry needs and daily responsibilities.
On May 18, NFPA’s 125th Conference Series will kick off with an “Empowering Electrical Design, Installation, and Safety” one-day program. Participants can take advantage of two learning tracks and 9 sessions that focus on issues related to design and installation, new and emerging technology, and workplace safety in the electrical landscape. It is a program you won’t want to miss, and I encourage you to visit our website to learn more.
It bears repeating that even when our recognition of our anniversary concludes next year, our commitment to our mission will not wane. Our work is not done. We need you if we are to keep moving closer to the day we have eliminated all loss from fire and other hazards. That is our vision. I view the future with renewed enthusiasm for our continued progress together.
After 125 years of growth and transformation, tackling the issues of the times, I am confident NFPA is poised to expand its safety reach to more places with the help of our members, colleagues, and so many others from every industry in all corners of the world. That is definitely something to celebrate.